2020 Nissan Frontier

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2020 Nissan Frontier Review: Who Needs Spec When You Have Power?

by Michael Butler

Nissan has been in the pickup game for over half a century and has played a massive part in the growth of America's pickup truck market. The 2020 Nissan Frontier is its current weapon of choice in the midsize pickup segment, and for 2020 is offered with an all-new gasoline engine in the form of a 3.8-liter V6 engine producing a strong 310 horsepower. Power is sent to the wheels via an all-new 9-speed automatic transmission and, as is typical of these trucks, either 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrains are available. The exterior has a rugged look to it, and is available in either 2-door or 4-door derivatives - King Cab or Crew Cab. The interior is just as rugged: it's not a very refined space, nor a capacious one, but it's hard-wearing and suits the rest of the truck's personality. The second-generation Frontier is due for replacement soon, but the new engine and transmission should carry over. The Frontier goes up against the competent Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma, but with a higher cost than before for 2020, the Nissan is no longer the value for money proposition it once was against such company.

Read in this review:

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2020 Nissan Frontier Changes: What's the difference vs. 2020 Nissan Frontier?

As Nissan prepares for the new Nissan Frontier's launch in the USA, the brand has done some work to the current year model to keep it fresh. What Nissan has done is introduce an all-new 3.8-liter 6-cylinder engine, which churns out 310 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. Mated to the new engine is an all-new nine-speed automatic transmission. Nissan has also reduced the Frontier's trim levels to S, SV, and PRO-4X - the latter being an off-road special. New on the base model are 16-inch styled steel wheels. All trims now feature a leather shift knob, manual tilt steering, power door locks, and power windows with driver-side auto-down. A new special edition package is offered on Crew Cab SV models, including a trip computer, a satin chrome grille, and 18-inch alloy wheels, amongst others. Lastly, the old four-cylinder engine from 2019 has been discontinued, which sees the base price of the 2020 Nissan Frontier pickup increase substantially.

Pros and Cons

  • Powerful new V6 engine
  • New automatic transmission is great
  • Rugged looks
  • Robust interior
  • It's not the most refined vehicle on the road
  • Severely dated interior
  • Tight rear passenger space
  • There aren't a lot of driver aids on board
  • No longer great value for money

Best Deals on 2020 Nissan Frontier

2020 Nissan Frontier Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.8L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
3.8L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
3.8L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
See All 2020 Nissan Frontier Trims and Specs

2020 Frontier Exterior

2020 Nissan Frontier Front Angle View Nissan
2020 Nissan Frontier Rear Angle View Nissan
2020 Nissan Frontier Side View Nissan
See All 2020 Nissan Frontier Exterior Photos


  • Length 205.5 in
  • Wheelbase 125.9 in
  • Height 70.1 in
  • Max Width 72.8 in

Exterior Colors

  • Brilliant Silver Metallic
  • Magnetic Black Pearl
  • Glacier White
  • Cayenne Red Metallic
  • Gun Metallic
  • Arctic Blue Metallic

2020 Frontier Performance

2020 Nissan Frontier Front View Nissan
2020 Nissan Frontier Rear Angle View 1 Nissan
2020 Nissan Frontier Engine Nissan

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    3.8L V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

2020 Frontier Interior

2020 Nissan Frontier Front Seats Nissan
2020 Nissan Frontier Infotainment System Nissan
2020 Nissan Frontier Gear Shifter Nissan
See All 2020 Nissan Frontier Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 42.4 in
  • Front Head Room 39.7 in
  • Rear Leg Room 25.4 in
  • Rear Head Room 36.6 in

2020 Frontier Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Nissan Frontier Rear Passenger Seats Nissan
2020 Nissan Frontier Trunk Space Nissan
2020 Nissan Frontier Roof Rails Nissan

2020 Frontier Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2020 Nissan Frontier A Good truck?

A lot has changed since Nissan first entered the pickup market over fifty years ago. But the one thing that has remained the same is the fact that this Japanese Automaker builds some rugged and dependable pickup trucks. The Nissan Frontier has seen a significant amount of attention for 2020 in the form of a new 3.8-liter V6 engine and nine-speed auto box, but the current model is ending its lifespan and is due for replacement, so it might be worth waiting it out until the current generation prices start to fall before investing in one or, better yet, wait for an all-new model that isn't based on more than decade-old - which is good for reliability at least - architecture. The package as a whole is not the most refined; what you get are the basics, and in terms of technology, especially the infotainment system, there's not much to write home about. The fact that the new V6 engine is the only option has also pushed the Frontier's asking price beyond that of some of its closest rivals. It's not a Ford F-150 Raptor, but it won't fall apart when taken over some rough country trails, and the Crew Cab gets a decent safety rating despite its age. As our review of the 2020 Nissan Frontier alludes to, it's a workhorse and should be treated as such.

What 2020 Nissan Frontier Model Should I Buy?

The Nissan Frontier will never be a premium product, and even in its top-spec form, it can't keep up with the more premium offerings in its class. That's why we would recommend sticking to the base King Cab S. In base spec, the Frontier offers a no-nonsense pickup platform that is hard-wearing and capable, and with that new 3.8-liter engine onboard, performance is better than ever. Standard features include cloth-upholstered front seats, cruise control, remote keyless entry, and the option to go with either 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive setups. Keep it sweet and simple.

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